Microsoft, Motorola trial to resume Monday

The two companies are arguing over patent royalty rates for video and wireless networking technologies

Microsoft and Motorola are expected to begin arguments on Monday in the second part of a court case regarding patent licensing fees.

The jury trial in Seattle, one of a number of patent-related battles between major tech companies, will determine if Motorola breached its contract to provide certain technology to Microsoft on fair and reasonable terms.

Trouble between the two companies began in 2010 when Motorola asked Microsoft to start paying royalties for Motorola technology contributed to the H.264 video compression standard and 802.11 wireless networking standard. The former has become the de facto standard for streaming video while the latter underlies the Wi-Fi technology used in most gadgets today.

When tech companies contribute a patented technology to a standard, it typically does so on the understanding it will license the patent on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, which is abbreviated to "FRAND" in the industry.

This stops a company from waiting until a standard becomes widely adopted and then asking users for large sums of money. But that's essentially what Microsoft is arguing Motorola did.

The case is being heard in two parts.

In October last year, U.S. District Court Judge James Robart held a hearing to determine what level of royalties constituted fair and reasonable. The answer he delivered in April was US$1.8 million, a fraction of the $4 billion Microsoft said it would have paid at Motorola's demanded rate.

The jury trial will seek to decide if Motorola breached its contract in seeking a larger sum from Microsoft.

Microsoft is asking for several million dollars in damages, attorney fees and the cost of relocating a distribution center from beyond the reach of a German court to the Netherlands as part of a side case filed in Europe.

Jury selection is expected to be completed on Monday morning after which opening arguments will be heard on Monday afternoon. Each side has 16 hours to argue their case. A verdict is expected as early as next week.

The case is Microsoft vs. Motorola, 10-cv-1823, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags MicrosoftMotorolalegalCivil lawsuits

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?